Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Trans-Siberian Adventure


I think I first heard A MAD RUSSIANS CHRISTMAS by Trans-Siberian Orchestra nine or ten years ago and since that time I have wanted to go to one of their concerts.  A month or so ago, I saw on TV that they were coming to Buffalo to present CHRISTMAS ATTIC.  I knew my new friend Mary Ann likes to go to concerts so I asked her if she would like to go.  She had never heard of them, but she wanted to go.   I purchased the tickets online, and was shocked at the $160.00 price for the two of them, but I REALLY wanted to go.

We met up at my house at 11;30 a.m. and headed to Buffalo.   We stopped in Amherst/Getzville for lunch at SEAN PATRICKS, a very nice Irish pub/restaurant.  I was surprised at the elegance of this place.  The prices are reasonable.  We had a nice relaxing lunch before continuing on  to Buffalo.

We parked in a lot at the University of Buffalo and walked to the Metro Station.  After wrestling with the ticket machines for several minutes, we finally found one that worked.  It was $2.00 for a round trip ticket.  We were seated on one of the subway trains when Mary Ann realized that she did not have her ticket  for the concert.  She thought it was either in the car, maybe having fallen out of her purse OR it had fallen out in SEAN PATRICKS.  We went back to the car and her cell phone case with the ticket in it was on the seat.  We went back to the subway station and the next car was waiting!

We took the subway/train all the way to the end to the FIRST NIAGARA CENTER.  We were in our seats about a half hour before the performance.  This place is GINORMOUS!!!!!  We had very good seats.

The concert was fantastic.  About 15 minutes into it, I put soft ear plugs in my ears because it was SO loud.  I am glad I had them.  After THE CHRISTMAS ATTIC, which was about an hour and a half, the chorus performed and then the band.  I was glad that they did A MAD RUSSIANS CHRISTMAS, it was the next to last piece that they played.

We found our way out and to the subway station quickly and even though there was a huge crowd heading back the same way, we got seats.  We discussed possibly stopping for something quick for supper, but decided to skip it since tomorrow is our weekly lunch out with the other girls from our 1967 high school graduating class.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

VICTORIAN TEA and SCROOGE (the musical) ADVENTURES

It was a busy Saturday!  My cousin Becky picked me up and we went to the UCC Church on Main Street for their Victorian Tea and basket raffle.  We met up with Elaine and Bonnie (girls I went to high school with).  The tea buffet was great, consisting of small sandwiches, veggies and dip, devilled eggs, lots of desert choices and more.  The UCC Church offers this type of event twice a year, and the buffet is free!
We all spent time looking at the baskets that were being raffled off (I think there were about 90) and placed our tickets.  I was hoping to win a very large basket with some "Christmas Village" buildings in it, so I put most of my  tickets in there, but neither Becky or I won anything.

I went home and rested for a while before David and Peggy picked me up to go to SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL at the Palace Theatre.  
Picture taking was not allowed during the performance, but I took a few of    the interior of the Palace, which opened up in 1925 and I believe it has been in continual use (although usage has changed).


It was a great day!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This was my first Thanksgiving in my new home (really, my OLD home) in Lockport.   On Thanksgiving morning, I did some decorating for Christmas.  This is my table BEFORE food and people were added!

on THANKSGIVING DAY, Peggy and Dave, two of Dave's grown children (Catherine and Scott) and my friend Betty joined my daughter Carrie and I.


 We had dinner at 3:30 consisting of

turkey
stuffing
gravy..................all prepared by David

baked sweet potatoes
70's fruit salad
baked butternut squash
mac and cheese
spinach casserole
Paula Deens cornbread casserole
devilled eggs                                      
homemade cranberry/orange sauce                all prepared by me

desert was
elderberry pie and chocolate peanut butter pie from HALL'S
Turtle Brownies and Christmas cookies (baked by me)

Betty brought some great rolls and overfilled my candy bowl!

Everything was delicious.

BLACK FRIDAY
I invited my sister Gail and Peggy and Dave joined us for "leftovers" lunch.
I made myself a "thanksgiving sandwich"  turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy on
a whole wheat roll" and it was absolutely delicious!!!!!

SATURDAY
Peggy and I went to Buffalo to visit a friend, Robin, in the hospital. Then we went to Paula's donuts, and Trader Joes!  It was a great afternoon, which just FLEW by.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

WASHINGTON HUNT Adventure Saturday November 15, 2014

When I told Peggy a couple of weeks that the former Washington Hunt Elementary School was going to be open to the public for one last walk through of it before its transformation to a spa/health club, she said she wanted to go.  So I reminded her yesterday and we went today.

First we went down to the remains of the old mill so she could retrieve her geocache which needed maintenance.  Here is what you see from the road.
Then we headed to SUNNY"S for lunch.  I had the steak sandwich and Peggy had a salad.  Then we went to BONTON'S where Peggy bought a closet organizer (for shoes).

Then it was on to the former Washington Hunt School on Rogers Avenue.

 We walked through and took several pictures.


I think the school closed down at the end of the school year in 2013.  The new owners are going to turn the building into a health spa offering a lot of services.  Today they offered guided tours (we declined) and free popcorn, bottled water and apples.  Also, they are giving away a free membership, which I signed up for.

It was very neat to see the inside of this old school.  Although all the furniture and other movable objects have been removed, there are many traces of the school days.  I am really glad we went to see it.  
I took the old geocache and will clean it up and replace the log and add trade items to it.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

48 hours with Christa ADVENTURE

Christa was supposed to arrive at the Buffalo airport at ten thirty p.m. Monday night BUT there were delays and she ended up arriving Tuesday around 12:30.  Projected arrival time for that particular flight was one p.m., so she had picked up her baggage and was ready to leave while I was still driving towards the airport.    I didn't have to park or even get out of my car, she was ready and waiting and threw her luggage into the back seat and we headed  towards Lockport (a 35-40 minute drive, mostly on "the transit").  She told me the story of her AIRPORT ADVENTURE, which was very interesting....she met a lot of people and had some unique experiences along the way.

She was dying for coffee from DUNKIN DONUTS, so that was our first stop, right on the Transit in Lockport, a few minutes from home.  I think Christa immediately crashed on the couch in my family room and took a nap as soon as we got there.

That night Peggy and Dave came over for a mini-Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, winter squash, corn and mac and cheese, with cherry pie for desert.  It was a great meal.  This was Christa's first opportunity to meet Peg's new husband, David and the two of them got along very well.

Tuesday was our first and only full day Christa and I had together.   She wanted to see where Peggy and Dave live, so we drove out to Middleport and I showed her.  David was not home, so we continued on our way.  I showed her the old stone schoolhouse down the road from David and then we went up to 104 and headed east for a bit.  We finally turned around and stopped at a very nice farmstand and winery.  
We looked around but did not make any purchases.  

It was getting to be time for lunch, and we tried to come up with some good ideas.  We decided to check out GORDY HARPERS BAZAAR.
 We went through all or most of the shops and made several small purchases, but nothing on the restaurant menu appealed to Christa, so we decided to not eat there.    Before we left, Christa wanted to take a picture of her GUMBY so I suggested she put him on this old piece of farm equipment.  GUMBY is kind of her "Flat Stanley"......the reactions the security people at one of the airport to this Gumby is a story in itself, part of Christa's airport story.

That night we watched the final episode of Downton Abbey on my laptop and an episode of two of Season Two THE WALKING DEAD (my new favorite tv series).  Christa hooked me up to her NETFLIX and taught me how to use it.

We ended up having lunch at PLEASANT VALLEY TAVERN in Lowertown, Lockport.  I had an italian sausage sandwich with a cup of onion soup.
Christa had pizza logs and a cup of soup. We decided to pick up Chiavetta's chicken for supper and then we headed back to my house.  Christa took another nap.  I think the three hour jet lag and the long hours of waiting in the airports took a lot out of her.  

We had Chiavetta's chicken (just like Brooks chicken) and mac and cheese for supper and then watched more of THE WALKING DEAD.

Thursday morning, I did some laundry and she started putting her stuff back together for the next leg of this trip. I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to do or anyone she wanted to see before leaving Lockport and she asked how far we were from the police station (my brother Mike is captain).  I called Mike and he said come on down, so we did and then meet up with his wife, Janie, and we all went to TOM'S DINER for a bit.  Mike and Janie ordered lunch and Christa and I each had a drink.  It was a very short visit, but it was so nice to touch bases with them and hear about some of their recent hiking adventures and Mike's time at FBI school in Quantico.  

We met up with her friend Seth and my sister, Peggy, at THE FIELDSTONE for lunch.  I had never met Seth before.
 He is a great guy and I feel confident that the two of them will have a wonderful time in the next 13 days, travelling across the country,  Their first stop will be New Orleans, then on to Austin, Texas and then continuing on to Portland, Oregon to drop her off and then onto Seattle where Seth lives.
 packing up Seth's car.
BON VOYAGE Seth and Christa, I can't wait to hear about all your adventures in so many states!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

SHOPPING AND DONUT ADVENTURE

Peggy and I met up at my house in order to spend the afternoon together.  First we went over to Mike and  Janeys house so Peg could drop off some items.  I took the boys "Halloween Bags" that I had put together and gave them to the boys.

Then we went to a "services" fair at a local church (Christ Church on the corner of Pine and Genesee).  There were a lot of freebies, and a lot of information about area services.

Then we headed out to Niagara Falls Blvd.  First stop: International Tops.  Now I know how to get there.  Drive out the blvd, and eventually will see Trader Joes on the left hand side.  Turn left at the next light and drive down a bit and the International Tops is on the left.  The Jewish deli was closed (its their sabbath).  We looked around at the other places offering ready to eat food and then decided to eat someplace else.

We decided to eat at Chipotle.  The "bowls" we had were really good, but the place was SO noisy, and the atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired.

Then it was on to TRADER JOE'S.  I spent a bit over twenty dollars and purchased the following:
I was really glad  that they had sweet chili sauce and bought four bottles.  (last time  they had none).  

After that it was to the PAULA'S DONUTS on Sheridan Drive.  I had a cream filled peanut donut and Peggy had a chocolate cream filled chocolate frosted donut.  


After that we headed for home, stopping only to get gas.  We had some geocaching information for caches close to the area we were in, but we skipped geocaching because it was cold and rainy outside.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

ALL SAINTS and COVENANT CHURCH ADVENTURE (and turkey dinner)

My cousin Becky and I met up at ALL SAINTS church (formerly St. Patricks) for their AUTUMN SPLENDOR Event...........which offered a basket raffle, vendors with lots if items for sale and chowder.  We only stayed long enough to spend $5.00 on the basket raffle.  It was impossible to see inside the baskets to see what was in  them, so neither one of us wanted to spend more than that.  I bought a few magnets and a small jar of homemade chili sauce.
We left after depositing our tickets and headed out to Gasport for the 
turkey dinner and bazaar at Covenant United Church of Christ in Gasport, NY.
 Before the dinner, we shopped.  There were numerous vendors with various items, Grandma's Attic (used items for sale) and also fruits and apples for sale as well as baked goods.    I bought several items from Grandma's Attic,  and basket of potatoes, apples and squash and some raffle tickets.

We waited in the sanctuary with several other people for the dinner to start.  I loved the altar decorations. 

Finally, it was time for the turkey dinner.  It was delicious!  
During the meal, Becky received a phone call from All Saints Parish telling her that she won a basket!  She has all the luck!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Shawnee Antique Co-op Adventure

My sister, Gail, and I headed out mid morning for the Shawnee Country Barns Antique Co-op.

 Gail had been there before, but it was my first time.  The main barn (above) has many vendors on both the first and second floors.  I bought a few small toys and a red clear glass shoe.   Upon leaving, we noticed that there were other buildings.  This particular one was closed.
This one was open:  
So we checked it out.  We also checked out this building which has a restaurant in it.  
We decided not to eat there.  Gail suggested the Country Kitchen or Country Cottage, saying we used to go there when we were kids.  I vaguely remember it.  However, we got a bit lost and then she did not know how to get there.  We ended up at ZEBB'S (I think in Amherst).   

I was a little disappointed because my fish fry was so small and  the fries were limp, they did not seem freshly made.  But I would try it again since I like the atmosphere, prices are good and OTHER peoples meals looked really good!

It was a great day!  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Geocaching, Sand Pits and more: October 28, 2014

What a great day Chickie and I had today It was a gorgeous fall day, with temperatures in the 70's....a perfect day for outside activities.  I picked Chick up in the morning and we headed out and found four local geocaches:  CLOSE TO HOME (at the Kenan Center, DEER CROSSING (at Kibler Park), CONIFERINAE I (along the canal near Widewaters) and JUST ONE MORE (also along the canal, involving a .4 mile hike each way to get to it.


After that hike, Chickie asked me if I was familiar with the Sand Pits.  I had heard of them, but never been to them, as far as I can recall.  She showed me how to get to them.  We found them and parked outside the entrance and walked in.
 We had barely made it in when a guy in a huge piece of excavating equipment drove up from one direction and a car entered where we parked  and came towards us from the other direction.
 Both vehicles stopped right where we were!  Apparently, they didn't care that we were there.  The guy on the huge piece of equipment owns the property, and we all chatted for a few minutes before Chickie and I walked out.

By then it was lunchtime and I asked Chickie for suggestions.  She suggested Scapelleti's.  At first,  I was disappointed to see that it was nothing more than a large  convenience store, but it turned out to be a nice spot for lunch.  We shared a steak sub, which was very good.  I would not hesitate to eat here again.

After that I suggested that we locate the TOWN OF LOCKPORT NATURE TRAILS
on Slayton Settlement Road.  Chick knew how to get there BUT we were talking and we  passed it and drove several miles out of our way in the direction of Gasport, and had to turn around and look for it again.

It was a glorious day for a hike in the woods (along nice trails).
 Unfortunately, there were not any trail maps available and the red, blue and yellow trails were not marked, but we took our chances.

It was a good thing we met up with a family who was also on their way out, because we were not exactly sure which turn in the trail we had taken to get to where we went!

Before leaving, we hid a geocache outside the entrance to the trails.  Then we headed back to Chick's house where I dropped her off.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday and Sunday (October 24 and 25th, 2014) with my grandkids

Saturday  morning, we baked our own hot pretzels (from a tube).
We enjoyed making and eating them for breakfast.  
Our next project was painting faces on
my pumpkins.  I have had these four small pumpkins on my front steps for a few weeks
Here are the kids working on them:
For lunch we had grilled cheese sandwiches and chips and cider.  Chris arrived after we finished lunch, with Niko, their new puppy. 
Later on in the afternoon, the kids mentioned Lake Effect Ice Cream, so we decided to take Niko and walk there.  My brother Mike met us there.  
In between projects, we played BANANAGRAMS and I introduced the kids to SCRABBLE, which they both seemed to like.  In the evening I made a breakfast casserole for Sunday morning.  Mike joined us and we had the casserole, cinnamon raisin toast with homemade apple butter and fruit.    After breakfast they packed up and headed back to Michigan.